Ever had an idea and thought to yourself: “Wow, I bet I could make that into something really great.” We typically call these ideas million dollar ideas. However, getting the funding, let alone a million dollars, to breath life into your idea has always seemed to be a complicated, frustrating and convoluted task. Until recently that was very much the truth. Thankfully from this frustration formed one of the most disruptive startups we have seen since Henry Ford turned the horse industry on its head. If you haven’t heard about them yet please allow me to introduce you to Kickstarter.
Kickstarter is a self-proclaimed “new way of funding and following creativity,” which is based on the premise that a large group of people making small investments can prove to be an immense source of support and financial resources. The way it works is a person, group or team puts up their creative idea on Kickstarter and they offer different levels of perks to potential backers based on how much money the backer chooses to give. Those perks can be anything from a personalize song on youtube to a limited edition customized version of the product at hand. The best part? Anyone with a great idea and the drive to make it happen has the chance to get funded.
What Kind of Projects?
I’ve been a follower and backer of Kickstarter projects since they first launched in 2008, in that time I have seen everything from children’s books, mobile apps, apartment window based urban gardens, iPhone cases, 3D printers and watches be very successful in their funding. As Kickstarter states, they are funding creativity which makes the possibilities for projects endless.
What’s the Catch?
No catch but there is one stipulation- projects have to set funding goals, whether that be $1,000 or $100,000 and if they don’t reach that goal in the given timeframe their project is live for, then they don’t get any of the pledged money. Why is this? Kickstarter provides three reasons for this all-or-nothing funding:
- It’s less risk for everyone. If you need $5,000, it’s tough having $2,000 and a bunch of people expecting you to complete a $5,000 project.
- It allows people to test concepts (or conditionally sell stuff) without risk. If you don’t receive the support you want, you’re not compelled to follow through. This is huge!
- It motivates. If people want to see a project come to life, they’re going to spread the word.
All fair statements.
Where should I start?
I encourage you to get on, learn about some projects and if you find one that sparks your interest, back it! It will help others reach their goals and dreams and help you understand how the process works, and chances are you’ll end up with something really cool as well. I leave you with three projects I find to tip the top of the awesomeness scale as a starting point: